Michael Fassbender

Top 10 seriously messed-up movies

Article: Top 10 seriously messed-up movies

Summer may not officially end until later in September, but come on: Labor Day has passed, and summer is over. It’s time to put away summer spectacles and let cool breezes and chillier moods wash over you. You can get away with less ebullient movies in the fall than you can in the summer; this goes for Sundance Channel, too — just check out this month’s lineup. It’s hard to get too bummed out by a well-told story or a stylishly made film (then again: DANCER IN THE DARK), but these are 10 seriously messed-up stories. In ascending order of potential to disturb you…

Now Playing on Sundance Channel: Sex served three ways

Article: Now Playing on Sundance Channel: Sex served three ways

This week you’ve got a choice. Do you want your sex served up David Lynch style, erotic shaman style or Michael Fassbender style? And because we love you, you can pick one or take them all. Plus, Claire Danes rocks some Thai prison chic for the 90s fans out there.

Weekly movie trailer roundup: Steve McQueen's SHAME is almost here!!!

Article: Weekly movie trailer roundup: Steve McQueen's SHAME is almost here!!!

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“I’m essentially quite happy, but, for some reason, I have done a lot of stuff that is dark. I don’t know why that is and I don’t question it. I don’t really think you have a choice where you go as an artist.” So says Steve McQueen, the Turner prize-winning artist cum prize-winning director (his stunning 2008 film HUNGER won no less than 33 awards). Now his follow up feature, SHAME, which swept the Venice Film Festival awards and garnered high praise well in advance of its upcoming wide release is set to hit theaters on December 2nd. That’s less than one month away (!!!), and since I missed it at NYFF I have my calendar marked – literally. I’m one of those people who get really excited for a movie and try to read as little about it as possible until after I’ve seen it and formed my own opinions. It’s been kinda tough with SHAME because everyone is already raving about it, and with what looks like another unrelenting performance from Michael Fasssbender as well as from cinema’s darling Carey Mulligan, reviews and commentary are freaking everywhere. I also cant’ wait to watch it because then I…

Michael Fassbender: big world small world

Article: Michael Fassbender: big world small world

Last night I ventured out to see XMEN: FIRST CLASS. It’s a big, big world. Its cast? Many arrived by way of much smaller worlds. As I watched, it struck me: What artist gets to participate in such completely different modes of making other than the film actor, who, if lucky and smart, goes from Hollywood to Indiewood or vice versa? A musician may be the closest – from orchestra to a more edgy or experimental gig? But an orchestra ain’t Hollywood. A new media artist who moonlights at Microsoft or Google? Nope, not art. Maybe XMEN isn’t art either – but the actor brings the same set of tools to the table when approaching something like XMEN or a teeny tiny film, in order to make his or her… art. Two of the XMEN stars are recent graduates of indie hits. Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) starred in the Sundance film WINTER’S BONE, wherein she brought nuance and grace to her role as Dee. Michael Fassbender has the bigger role in this big world, though, as the tortured Magnito. Fassbender recently starred as a duplicitous and ethically-challenged player-bloke in Andrea Arnold’s coming of age story FISH TANK, and he brought a great sense of humanity to his Rochester in Cary Fukunaga’s excellent JANE EYRE. He’s also listed on imdb as one of the stars of Jim Jarmusch’s next film. How must it be to coexist in these worlds?

FISH TANK: wisdom in a teenager

Article: FISH TANK: wisdom in a teenager

One of the more interesting characters on the screen right now is the angry, vulnerable and directionless Mia (Katie Jarvis) in the British film FISH TANK, directed by Andrea Arnold (currently screening at IFC Center). A 15 year old girl clothed in baggy sweat suits, Mia spends her free time drinking liquor and practicing awkward dance moves by herself. She’s looking for expression and it spills out through her rage as she tumbles through mistakes and near scrapes with disaster with a kind of tough resilience that would make you want to hug her… if you weren’t worried about her breaking your nose.